Cornell Researchers Create the Country’s First Statewide IoT Network


The project’s goal is to increase the availability of internet access and promote IoT adoption.

The project’s goal is to increase the availability of internet access and promote IoT adoption.

Researchers at Cornell University are hard at work creating the nation’s first statewide IoT network designed to bring internet access to more of New York’s citizens. The team will use a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program to create a public IoT network across each of New York’s 62 counties.

The researchers estimate it will take three years using low-power-wide-area network (LPWAN) technology to deploy the network. Launched in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), the researchers hope this network will help to close the digital gap between the state’s rural and urban areas.

Internet Access for More People

Max Zhang, the project’s principle investigator, says that while the project could improve the agriculture, traffic monitoring, and building management sectors, it’s main goal focuses on getting more people online.

“I think that’s one area where I think we can make a difference,” Zhang says. “If our vision is achieved, no matter where you are, you will have this reliable connection.”

The team will build the network on existing infrastructures already used for utility monitoring and maintenance. CCE’s local offices will set up the and connect networks in each county to create a statewide web of access. The program will include public outreach programs to help build the public’s trust in the network and address privacy concerns. Zhang admits it might not be a fast or easy process.

“The short answer is, we don’t know everything,” Zhang said. “[Privacy] is the question we have to figure out, so I think that’s the point of the community engagement… If I were to design something [alone] and then we gave it to the community saying, you can use it for free, I don’t think they’d take it. If I was on the receiving end, I would be very suspicious.”

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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